[robotics-worldwide] AAAI-2007 Spring Symposium on Multidisciplinary Collaboration for Socially Assistive Robotics

Adriana Tapus tapus at usc.edu
Sun Sep 3 19:04:15 PDT 2006

[with apologies for multiple copies]

                            Call for Papers and Participation

AAAI-2007 Spring Symposium on Multidisciplinary Collaboration for Socially Assistive Robotics

American Association for Artificial Intelligence (AAAI)
2007 Spring Symposium Series
Stanford University, Palo Alto, California, March 26-28, 2007



Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) for socially assistive applications emphasizes the centrality of social relationships to our everyday experiences. As we endow robots with interactive capabilities and integrate them into our lives, research is increasingly focused on the design of social interactions that have the potential to enhance the quality of life of a variety of populations. Such robots should use social capabilities to assist humans in physical or cognitive tasks such as rehabilitation and training exercises, therapeutic and educational play, mobility, providing information, housework, etc. An effective socially assistive robot must understand and interact with its environment safely, exhibit social behavior, and focus its attention and communication on users in order to help them achieve specific goals. The robot's physical embodiment, appearance, verbal and non-verbal communicative abilities, and empathy play key roles in its assistive effectiveness. 
The complex integration of social factors and technical design encourages problem-, task- or issue-based engagement across multiple disciplines with an artifact rich in both social and technological significance. Research in this field is therefore of interest to, and draws from, a range of disciplines in engineering, health sciences, psychology, social and cognitive sciences, and the arts. This collaboration requires close coordination and communication between diverse communities of practitioners at all stages of the process: inception, design, development, use, and evaluation. Working in this domain is challenging due to the differences in terminology, methodology, practices, and ethical considerations inherent in multidisciplinary collaboration.

Symposium Objectives:
- To showcase current socially assistive robotics projects; 
- To bring together researchers from multiple fields to foster interdisciplinary, as well as intra-disciplinary, discussion about collaboration; 
- To discuss experimental design for socially assistive human-robot interaction; 
- To explore factors relevant to the acceptance of assistive robots by a community of users (especially those with special needs); and 
- To consider how different research questions, analytical frameworks, and methods can be applied to building assistive robots that interact socially with humans. 

A joint session will be shared with the co-located Symposium on Interaction Challenges for intelligent Assistants.

Organizing Committee:
- Adriana Tapus (co-chair), University of Southern California, USA
- Marek Michalowski (co-chair), Carnegie Mellon University, USA
- Selma Sabanovic (co-chair), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, USA
- Cynthia Breazeal, MIT, USA 
- Kerstin Dautenhahn, University of Hertfordshire, UK
- Carl DiSalvo, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
- Maja Matarić, University of Southern California, USA
- Francois Michaud, Universite de Sherbrooke, Canada
- Illah Nourbakhsh, Carnegie Mellon University, USA
- Reid Simmons, Carnegie Mellon University, USA

Submission Information:
Prospective participants should submit an extended abstract (up to three pages) describing recent work. Authors should specify whether expansion to a full paper (up to eight pages) is possible and/or desired; authors of selected papers will be invited to expand and present at the Symposium, and authors of abstracts will be invited to attend and participate in alternative programming (e.g., panels). All submissions are due in PDF format to Adriana Tapus at tapus at usc.edu by the AAAI submission deadline. Submissions will be judged on technical merit and on potential to provoke active discussions.

Important Dates:
- 6 October 2006  Submission deadline 
- 3 November 2006 Notice of acceptance 
- 26 January 2007 Camera-ready versions due on the AAAI website 
- 26 January 2007 Fax "Permission to Distribute" forms to AAAI at +1 650 321-4457 
- 9 February 2007 Registration deadline 
- 2 March 2007 Final (open) registration deadline 
- 26-28 March 2007 Spring Symposium Series, Stanford University 

Special Events:
At least two special events have been planned for the symposium, in collaboration with the relevant faculty participants.  The first will be a tour and symposium-relevant demonstrations in the Prof. Clifford Nass's laboratory, the "Communication between Humans and Interactive Media (CHIMe)” Lab (http://chime.stanford.edu/) at Stanford University, which focuses on studying human-machine communication.  The second will be a tour and symposium-relevant demonstrations of the lab of Prof. Oussama Khatib, which focuses on safety of human-robot interaction in manipulator robotics (http://ai.stanford.edu/groups/manips/index.html).

- Dr. Adriana Tapus: tapus(at)robotics.usc.edu 
- Marek Michalowski: michalowski(at)cmu.edu 
- Selma Sabanovic: sabans(at)rpi.edu 

More Information:
Dr. Adriana Tapus
WiSE Postdoctoral Fellow
Robotics Research Lab / Interaction Lab
Computer Science Department
University of Southern California

Phone: +1 213-740-6245
Fax: +1 213-821-5696
Email: tapus at robotics.usc.edu
Webpage: http://www-robotics.usc.edu/~tapus

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